Rural Heritage Ox Paddock

Pure Breeds of Oxen

Highland Bigger picture

Scotch Highland

The unique Scotch Highland breed is easily recognized by its long shaggy hair and long horns. These cattle are not often trained as oxen, but when they are, they make a striking team that is sure to draw a crowd. Like other beef breeds they should be handled as calves. Animals that nurse a cow and have little human contact during their first year can be quite a handful. The long hair of these animals creates a challenge when they are worked in warm weather.

color— all black, brown, grey, or white
average mature weight— ox: 2,000#
bull: 1,800-2,000#
cow: 1,100#
temperament— active
association— American Highland Cattle Association
web resources— Oklahoma State University

Longhorn Bigger picture

Texas Longhorn

The Texas Longhorn is a beef breed, but is leaner and more athletic than many other more modern beef breeds. Their long horns are impressive, but can be a challenge when yoking, housing, and trucking these animals. They are smart and require a little more effort in training than other breeds, especially if they have had the run of the pasture and little handling as calves.

color— any color or combination
average mature weight— ox: 1,800-2,000#
bull: 1,800#
cow: 1,100#
temperament— active and alert
associations— Chisholm Trail Texas Longhorn Association
International Texas Longhorn Association
Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of American
web resources— Oklahoma State University

Zebu Bigger picture

Zebu (Brahman)

Zebus, or Brahman, cattle are not often seen in Northern areas, but globally they are probably the most common cattle used for oxen. They come in many breeds and colors. American Zebus are much larger than the same breed seen abroad. Like other beef breeds, they are easier and more enjoyable to train when handled frequently.

color— grey or greyish brown
average mature weight— ox: 2,000#
bull: 1,800-2,000#
cow: 1,200#
temperament— active
associations— American Brahman Breeders Association
International Zebu Breeders Association
  American Miniature Zebu Association
web resources— Oklahoma State University

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01 June 2011